Fidget spinner sent Texas girl to operating room, mom warns other parents

A Houston-area woman took to Facebook on Monday to warn parents about the potential risks of fidget spinners after her daughter required surgery to remove part of one from her throat.

The twirling, three-inch toys have lately become so popular that they’ve been banned in some schools.  The toys were originally aimed at helping students with autism or attention disorders concentrate, but took over classrooms with a variety of students this spring.

For Kelly Rose Joniec, her 10-year-old daughter’s fidget spinner would ultimately lead to “a pretty eventful Saturday.”

“On the way home from a fun swim meet, I heard Britton make an odd retching noise in the back seat as I was driving,” Joniec wrote in her post. “Looking back in the mirror, I saw her face turning red and drool pouring from her mouth.”

The girl looked panicked, so Joniec said she pulled over immediately. Her daughter motioned to her throat, saying she’d put part of the toy into her mouth “to clean it” and ended up swallowing it.

She took her daughter to urgent care, but doctors couldn’t tell whether the piece – one of three “bushings” sited on each of three of the toy’s prongs – was in her airway or esophagus. Instead, an ambulance rushed them to Texas Children’s Hospital in The Woodlands, just north of Houston.

X-rays showed the nickel-sized bushing was stuck in Britton’s esophagus, and eventually she required surgery “to endoscopically locate and remove the object,” Joniec said.

“Fortunately, we had a positive outcome, but it was pretty scary there for a while,” she said.

She offered some words of advice for parents: “Not all spinners come with age-appropriate warnings. The bushings pop out easily, so … keep in mind that these present a potential choking hazard.”

As of Tuesday evening, Joniec’s post had received nearly 24,000 comments and been shared more than 260,000 times.

Credit: Dallas News

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